Friday, April 02, 2010

The $184 Million Mauer

March 22 (Bloomberg) -- Joe Mauer received a $184 million contract from the Minnesota Twins that’s the fourth largest in Major League Baseball history and may keep the All-Star catcher with his hometown team through 2018.

Mauer, 26, was voted the American League Most Valuable Player last season after hitting .365 in 138 games for the Twins with 28 home runs and 96 runs batted in. He made the All-Star team for a third time and won a second Gold Glove Award as the best defensive catcher in the league.

Mauer’s contract will pay him an average of $23 million over eight seasons from 2011-18 and includes a full no-trade clause, the Twins said yesterday in a news release.

“I was like, ‘Wow, that’s a lot of money,’” Twins center fielder Denard Span said in comments on the team’s Web site. “That was my first initial reaction, and my second reaction was, if anybody is worth it, it’s him.”

The total value trails only two contracts signed by Alex Rodriguez and Derek Jeter’s $189 million deal with the New York Yankees. Rodriguez signed a 10-year, $252 million contract with the Texas Rangers in 2001 and a 10-year, $275 million accord with the Yankees in 2008.

Mauer’s contract almost equals the $185 million the Twins contributed to construction of their new stadium, Target Field, which opens this season.

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